Artist Robert Ballagh
‘I was not at all surprised to read the open letter signed by more than 300 Irish practitioners that was sent to Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan expressing their deep concern and dissatisfaction with the direction that the Abbey Theatre has taken in recent times.
However, I was surprised that the letter did not raise an obvious question: why is the Irish National Theatre, which has an obligation to reflect Irish cultural values, currently being run by two Scotsman?
I suppose if this disconnect was simply a problem for the Abbey Theatre, the situation would not be so serious, but at this moment in time practically every national cultural institution is being managed by an outsider.
For example, the director of the National Gallery of Ireland is an Englishman, the new director of the Hunt Museum in Limerick is a Welshwoman, the director of the National College of Art and Design is an Englishman, and the director of the Gate Theatre is an Englishwoman.
It seems that when it comes to our cultural institutions that warning experienced by our emigrants in the past still holds sway: “No Irish need apply.”
Outrageous and shameful piece of narrow minded nationalism from Robert Ballagh today and since when did Sara Glennie become an EnglishMAN
— Annie Doona (@anniedoona) January 10, 2019